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Patient-reported stressful events and coping strategies in post-menopausal women with breast cancer

Journal article
Authors M. Browall
E. K. Sarenmalm
Lars-Olof Persson
Y. Wengstrom
F. Gaston-Johansson
Published in European Journal of Cancer Care
Volume 25
Issue 2
Pages 324-333
ISSN 0961-5423
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 324-333
Language en
Keywords coping strategies, stressful events, breast cancer, level of bother, post-menopausal, diary, quality-of-life, symptom clusters, social support, younger women, distress, survivors, chemotherapy, experiences, predictors, management, Oncology, Health Care Sciences & Services, Nursing, Rehabilitation,
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


The objective of this paper was to explore what stressful events post-menopausal women with primary or recurrent breast cancer experience, how bothersome these events were and which coping strategies these women used. Data were collected from 131 patients diagnosed with primary or recurrent breast cancer. The Daily Coping Assessment was used. Thematic analysis was applied to form themes of stressful events. Six types of stressful events were extracted. The most frequently experienced events for women with primary cancer and those with recurrent cancer were distressing bodily symptoms'. The most bothersome event among primary cancer was everyday concerns' and in the recurrent group, distressing psychological reactions'. The most commonly used strategies were acceptance', distraction' and relaxation'. This study shows that women in different parts of the cancer trajectory differ in what they perceive to be stressful events when reporting them in their own words in a diary. The differences have an impact on the subsequent coping strategies they used.

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